Generalizing the tenets of Slow-Food here would probably do the movement a disservice, but, as its name implies, at least a portion of its aim is to rid the world of fast-food culture. As Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto puts it, "the priorities of fast food already seem as outmoded as Futurism or Vorticism: they belong to an already bygone age. The fifteen-second hamburger will join the fifteen-cent hamburger: consigned to the dustbin of history."
When Sweeney's opened up in the forever-cursed location next to Bluewater Cafe, with signage proclaiming to be a "slow fast food" joint, the contradiction in terms piqued my curiosity. The menu is comprised of soups, sandwiches and salads, all made from the "freshest ingredients, local when possible" (so asserts their website), with a guarantee of quality. In a neighbourhood increasingly swarmed by chain restaurants with dwindling cheap options, this was a welcome addition.
This optimism was initially served well with their meatloaf sandwich ($8.50), made from Pemberton beef, seasoned simply, drenched with the yin of a light tomato sauce and the yang of a heavy cheddar on a toothsome bun. The roast chicken waldorf salad sandwich ($8.50) -basically a chicken salad with apple slices and walnuts - had its own contradictions; the chicken was overly dry, but the bread overly soggy. This, coupled with a disinterested weekend staff, meant that Sweeney's didn't quite deliver, despite its good intentions.
Sweeney's of Yaletown
1091 Hamilton Street